The NEW Tortoise and the Hare: The Right Tools and Mindset

Apologies for not posting this past week.  I was on vacation and wouldn’t you know…I learned a humble business lesson!

la

Along with my husband, I was out and about in the streets of Los Angeles: going to ComplexCon, a LA Rams game and a LA Lakers game.  We also visited the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other things.  I think both of us learned valuable lessons in having the right mindset and the right tools

MINDSET

We were so excited to go to the LA Rams game.  This was the first season the team was back in LA since the early 1990s.  Traffic was crazy and the cost of parking close to the arena was out of this world!  We found parking a few blocks away in an alley for half the price.  Not bad and we get our extra steps in for the day.  Healthy!

After we purchased our LA Rams memorabilia and ate, we found our seats.  We sat behind a dedicated Rams fan that stood up during every play.  Behind us was another Rams fan that “sprayed” every time he yelled.  My patience was wearing thin.  I really wanted to say something however I reminded myself first of all, where I was and that I cannot focus on the negative as it did not out-weight the positive: I was at a Rams game!

We actually networked with all of the people sitting around us who had ties to North Carolina.  The world is truly small.  The wife of the man who kept standing up in front of us had a friend that loves to coupon from Greensboro (where my husband and I met), the man behind us (who didn’t spray when he spoke) was actually from Raleigh, and the man beside us had family in High Point.  I got many compliments on my custom shirt my husband designed, in support of Todd Gurley, who was from our hometown (Shout out to eastern North Carolina).  It didn’t hurt our networking either when everyone found out we were there to support Todd Gurley instead of the Carolina Panthers.  Traders much?

I learned that patience is something to pray for as you never know who a person really is until you meet and engage with them.  First impressions are important but they shouldn’t necessary always be the foundation of a relationship/friendship.  Sometimes you have to dig deeper to find substance.

TOOLS

Having only packed a carry on, to reduce possibility of loss/delayed luggage neither one of us didn’t pack any comfortable shoes.  Needless to say my husband and I underestimated how much walking we were going to encounter.  By the third day, my feet were begging from a break from my Vans and Converses.  We obliged and both bought comfortable walking shoes for the remainder of our trip.

Knowing your circumstances and preparing with the proper tools is invaluable, otherwise it will be a costly consequence.

Learning through living life is lovely!  Sometimes in order to more forward aggressively, you need to slow it down a bit.

FYI I had to get a brace for my left foot to wear for 4 weeks! : stress fracture.  The right tools are very important to have to avoid professional, and sometimes physical injury.

Advertisements

ApPReciation

Washington Square Park

Be grateful for how far you have come & have faith in how far you can go!  I saw @FashionWeekNYC tweet this and it made me reflect on my journey throughout my career thus far. I recent just got back from New York.  I didn’t plan on staying in New York long, just for the day.  I was determined to meet my family that lived there.

I contacted my family member via telephone a week prior to my visit to let him know who I was and that I was visiting for a short period.  I invited him to lunch, just excited to meet  this person that came from my humble beginnings living in the big city, the same place I aspire to work.  After my appointment, we walked through the Lower East Side to Chinatown for some Thai food. I enjoyed walking the Big Apple while getting to know about my relative, occasionally getting lost for 5 seconds before my relative realizes where we are at again. (By the way, I love how all New Yorkers talk out loud trying while using hand signals trying to figure out all the stops or the best train to use when asking for directions.)

I found out that he has been through some close encounters.  My relative works in construction in downtown New York, working specifically underground building new subway systems.  He was underground working or “in the hole” as he calls it while the entire east coast experienced an earthquake two years ago.  Luckily, him and his crew walked away unharmed.

But there was one particular story of my relative that I had a hard time fighting back tears to.  My relative has been in New York for over 30 years at this time.  On the day of September 11, 2011 my relative was on the 99th floor of the South Tower when the planes hit.  He ran down all 99 floors before it collapsed and then walked 12 miles to the Bronx.  After speaking with my dad, we learned that it took hours for my relative to call his wife to let her know he was fine.  It’s crazy how fast the love forms after just meeting your relative.  After getting to know more about each other, and after returning to North Carolina, I got a voicemail from him checking to see if I had got back safe.  At the end of his call, he said “Love you, talk to you later.”  It was so unexpected but it didn’t feel weird at all.

I’m so blessed with the people in my life, old and new.  I thank God for that day of getting to know my relative while walking around New York City.  It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. I’m now more determined to meet other family members as well as research my family history.

The PoweR of Social Media

twitter image

(originally post date on October 22, 2012)

Social media is so huge that there is no denying that it cannot be just icing on the cake for businesses.  It must be a part of the cake batter mix of a company’s marketing plan.  Not only can you use social media to market your business to existing customers, you can use it to gain potential new customers as well.

A fellow publicist and colleague of mine, Sheria Row, is a only one of a handful of people I know that practices public relations in the state of North Carolina.  I found her through social media.  It is a very powerful networking tool.  I follow her twitter account to see updates from her regarding her client news.  Today, a new client announces that Sheria is her new publicist.  I was so happy for her because I saw the tweet she sent to that potential client telling her that she needed to be her publicist and then the conversation went off Twitter, as it should.

There are many ways to reach out to a potential client.  You just have to do your research and figure out the best way to approach them.  Some people prefer email while others are strictly phone people.  Nowadays, I see people tweet more often than respond to emails so reaching out via social media may not be a bad idea, but be aware of who is watching your every move.

Expect the Unexpected-A Day at LaGuardia Airport

As a PR professional, you must be prepared for the unexpected.  Always be on your P’s and Q’s.

My latest journey outside of North Carolina has led me to New York City.  I was invited to spend a week in New York with a friend and my now new friend who is also a publicist.  As a young professional, it makes sense to find the best airline and hotel deals.  Of course I wanted to travel on the same flight as my colleague so I went on a booked the flight.  Unfortunately for her, the site where she booked her flight from had different plans.

Hotwire decided to push back my colleague’s flight 6 hours.  The other friend booked the hotel in her name and there is no way for her to switch it to my name.  I had no close friends staying in the city sooooo…..I had to wait it out at LaGuardia Airport.

It actually wasn’t that bad.  The only two things I didn’t like were the expensive airport food and the airport didn’t offer free wi-fi like other airports.  I was elated when I found an outlet where I can charge my phone.  Luckily I borrowed a book from my friend to read for entertainment.  It was Lauren Conrad’s Sweet Little Lies.  It was really juicy!  I had heard about her book series before but now I will find the other two books and read them as well.

Of course I had social media to entertain/inform me.  I also wanted to be as productive as possible.  I mapped out my next 6 blogpost topics, research a company I was interviewing for while in town, and did some work for my internship, The Marque Group, LLC.  I never let my time go to waste.  Even when I’m at home trying to relax, I can’t do it because I always feel like I should be doing SOMETHING.

How do you make the most of your time?  Share your comments below!

Team Building

The past few days, I’ve been in Southport, NC with my company (Good Health Natural Products) and we conducted our yearly Sales Meeting there at the Wingate Hotel. We had meetings Tuesday and Wednesday from each department of the company and each sales person on future endeavors.

I was kind of excited to go to Southport because my favorite author had written about Southport in his latest book, Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. It’s a small town near the Cape Fear River. I’m so fortunate to have gone with the company.

On Tuesday after our meeting, we all were schedule to do this team-building exercise. The agenda: SAILING!!! The CEO split the company into three teams and he called the the Gators(mine team and the winners) the cros and the sharks. Each sailboat has a captain and a first mate who where experienced sailors. We ventured off into the Cape Fear River and got a quickie lesson from our captain, Kevin. He worked on Wallstreet for 15 years before moving to Southport to teach people how to sail. He loves sailing!!! It’s his passion so he was an amazing teacher and very patient and helpful. There were four Gators on my team and each of us had to take turn doing each task: steering/driving the boat, in charge of the mail said, and the two jibs.

They told us not to worry and that the boat will not dip and turn over into the water but the first gust of wind we caught, my side of the boat went towards the water and I almost panicked. Luckily I requested a life jacket at all times or I would not have gone on the boat 🙂 Our boat came to so many times going into the water that if all the people were not on the same time as the boat dipped, many of us would have gotten soaked, which is what happened to one of the other boats lol.

My very first task was to steer the boat while everyone else did the harder jobs. Steering took a while to get use to at first. To go left you had to steer right and vise versa. To tact (or to turn the boat around) as the driver I had to move from one side of the boat to the other while the jibbers took turns pulling the ropes to shift the sails. Kevin said I was a natural at driving the boat.

I then had my turn at the mail sail but it was when I got to the jib that I started having trouble. When you tact the boat, the people working with the jib that to simultaneously pull the rope and loosen the ropes on opposite sides of the boat in order for the sail to switch sides. There were plenty of times where I had gotten my jib tangled and I felt bad for doing that but it wasn’t about me. It’s about the team and thank goodness for my team for helping me and guide me on how to do it correctly.

After we got our practice in, it was time to race! It was simple, the first boat down and back wins a prize.

My team was able to grab first place and keep it.  It was then that another team boat caught drift of the wind and sprung ahead of us, winning by a hair.  It was so close.  It was still early so we decided to race again so the winning team could defend their championship.  They declined, afraid to lose the championship so we raced the remaining team and won.  Winners received a wine bottle holder made out of an old sail.  It was then I learned that old sails from sailboats are not thrown away but are always used to make something else.  My captain’s sister made them and she also makes totes!

After eating, we hung out at the pier while we were served a “country down boil.”  We had crab legs, jumbo shrimp, corn on the cob, and so much more delicious food.  I was so glad they boiled everything because I’m not allowed to eat fried foods while on my new diet/workout plan.  The food was delicious!

My team couldn’t have won if there was not constant communication and an effort to work as a team.  It is hard to sail a boat, or even run a business alone but if you have a team working together to acheive the same goal, then everything will come to you. As the motto of my middle school once was, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”